Happy for the ‘Road’ taken

Ken Weingartner

Hightstown, NJ — John Ryan Melsheimer was not looking to buy Adamsville Road when he went to the 2020 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. But Melsheimer’s regard for the trotter’s mother, as well as a bargain price, resulted in the horse coming home with the Ohio-based trainer.

It has proved to be a fortunate outcome.

Melsheimer purchased Adamsville Road for $7,000. Lightly raced as a 2-year-old, the gelding captured an Indiana Sire Stakes championship at 3 and has earned $374,054 lifetime for Melsheimer’s Mel Rose Stable and his father-in-law, Joe Nesselroad.

“He’s by far the best I’ve had,” Melsheimer said about Adamsville Road. “He’s probably the easiest horse I’ve ever worked with. He doesn’t do anything wrong. He’s just a perfect horse to be around.

Adamsville Road has seven victories and seven other top-three finishes in 25 races this year, good for $112,420 in purses. Conrad photo.

“He’s the one when you come to the barn in the morning that talks to you until you make it to his stall. That’s probably because he’s my wife’s (Hallie) pet and has been spoiled since he came in the barn. He’s got a great disposition. A kid could jog him or train him. He wouldn’t hurt a fly, but he knows when he turns to go to the gate that it’s game time.”

Melsheimer trained Adamsville Road’s mother, She Wore Red, during her 4-year-old season in 2016 for breeder/owners Joyce and Dick McClelland. The mare was a top-level performer at The Meadows and Scioto Downs that year, hitting the board 18 times in 32 starts and earning $102,056. Already bred earlier that season, she retired at the end of her campaign.

“She was bred in April after I got her, and after she was bred, she really started racing well,” Melsheimer said. “She had good conformation, a good attitude, and was really good gaited.

“When I bought Adamsville Road, I didn’t go to buy him. I went to buy an Ohio-bred and he just happened to go through for that cheap price. I bought him more because I liked the mare. He’s almost identical (to his mother). He’s very light-footed. Every driver says he has such a perfect gait. I still have trotting hobbles on him, but that’s just because I don’t want to take them off. The gait is just flawless.

“I had someone warm him up the other day at Dayton and he said you can’t even tell he hits the ground he’s so light-footed.”

After spending much of last year at Harrah’s Hoosier Park, Adamsville Road has done well back in Ohio this season. The son of stallion Swan For All won the Open Handicap on Nov. 3 at Hollywood Dayton Raceway and has hit the board four additional times in opens at either Eldorado Scioto Downs or Dayton.

For the year, he has seven victories and seven other top-three finishes in 25 races, good for $112,420 in purses. He has four wins and a third in his past seven starts.

“He’s fought some allergies and stuff, but I think coming into wintertime, the allergies have gone away, and he’s started to come back around,” Melsheimer said. “But time will tell.”

Adamsville Road’s next start will come Saturday in the Open Handicap at Dayton. Smoking Jet, a 13-time winner this year, is the 5-2 favorite from post six for driver Chris Page and trainer Ron Burke. Adamsville Road will start from post one with driver Sam Widger and is 9-2 on the morning line.

“I’m hoping he just continues to race well and, knock on wood, we don’t have any soundness issues with him,” Melsheimer said. “The drivers all tell me he does his work and that you can leave with him, or you can take back. When you ask him to go, he goes. When you ask him to stop, he stops. You can’t ask for anything more.”

Racing begins at 4 p.m. (EST) Saturday at Dayton. For free programs, visit the track’s website here.

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